Load Development Savage 10 FCP/130 Berger OTM

IMG_0856 2.JPG

Welcome to another rambling from Box To Bench Precision.  As I think about many of the things I read on places like Facebook, it becomes necessary for me to back up for a moment and recall what the purpose of B2B really is.

The idea hasn’t changed and we remain committed to sharing knowledge, information, and ideas.  We don’t claim to have all the answers but we sure as heck are looking for them.  What we intend to do is pass on our methods and results from our adventures in reloading, shooting, and even hunting.  Our goal is to shorten learning curves for guys just getting started or picking things back up after a lay off.   We will share what does work for us as well as what hasn’t.  We are not trying to persuade anyone to use our methods or change their own, but simply want to share with others as we go.

Box To Bench Precision picked up a Savage 10 FCP-SR in 6.5 Creedmoor awhile ago and it kind of bounced around somewhat as we just weren’t very happy with how it shot factory ammo.  Nothing at all like the Facebook gang claims of their own experiences with this rifle.  So . . . I ended up with this rifle as my personal project and shot up what ammo was left of the four boxes of factory ammo we got for it.  For the initial testing, it was burdened with a 10x SWFA Super Sniper with high rings right off an AR.  So needless to say, there was zero chance of repeatable (any) cheek weld.  It also had a Harris knock off bipod that was flimsy and pathetic at best.

The rifle has been liberated of the SWFA and cheap bipod, and even the awful brown color that I think is supposed to be flat dark earth.  First thing I did was remove the scope and rings to discover a very loose (as in all 4 screws) rail.  So I ordered a Night Force 20 moa rail and cleaned all screws and screw holes and sopped up the copious amounts of light oil that had been between the top of the action and the rail.  Loctite and torque ended that problem.  Next I painted the stock dark brown with black web and added a Mathews adjustable cheek rest.  Then, the wait was on for the Vortex Gen 2 PST 5-25x50 sfp.  It is now on and sighted in.

So . . . rifle ready for testing and I can’t make up my mind on bullets and brass.  I use Lapua brass for another rifle and know full well how good it is, but I just couldn’t NOT try Peterson Cartridge for the sake of comparison.  So 200 of those with small rifle primer pockets are now on hand, necks turned and waiting on primer pocket uniformer and small .060 flash hole uniformer.  Also, the bullet seater die was back ordered but that just showed up as well.

I went with the 130 OTM Hybrid by Berger because I want a bit more velocity and the form factor of the bullet is actually better than that of the 140 VLD.  My base to lands measures 2.250 and I will set up my first 5 rounds at 2.235 or .015 off the lands.  First powder test will be H414.  I also have H4350 to try and I will get some Reloader 16.  You may have already guessed I want nothing more than to not use what everyone else is using so long as I can get the results I want.  

The test will be conducted for full load development as the rifle now stands with Harris type S leg notch bipod, APA little Bastard brake, NF 20 moa rail, Seekins low precision matched rings, and the Vortex Gen 2 PST.  After complete uniforming of the brass it will be sized using a Redding type S full length bushing die.  Neck tension will be .002.  I will be looking for a velocity of 2825 to 2850 but ultimately settling for the best 5 shot group.  I will compare apples to apples, powder to powder, as I will test all three to the same velocity node if possible.  Testing will be conducted from a bench rest with bipod and rear bag.


If testing doesn’t go as planned, my next move will be to replace the factory recoil lug and barrel nut with the upgraded ones from Northland Shooters Supply, and then dunk it into the M40 style Bell & Carlson stock, or probably better yet…..the  NEW Bifrost stock from GRS.

More to come soon, as testing starts any day now.  

Team B2B